A Meriweather County man will spend the rest of his life in prison after he pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife. Jeffrey Dewayne Jones, 37, pleaded guilty to murder and aggravated assault in Troup County Superior Court today.
Tonya Towanda Bray, 37, of Laurel Crossing Apartments was shot and killed while driving on Ragland Street near the intersection of Berry Hill Circle on July 3, 2011.
Witnesses told police that Jones chased Bray down Ragland Street in his own vehicle, pulled up beside her and shot her several times. Bray’s car wound up in the ditch on the southbound side of Ragland Street.
“I think evidence would show it was a controlling relationship,” Assistant District Attorney Monique Kirby said. “He told several people that he was going to find her and kill her.”
Kirby said the day of the murder was prefaced by a string of threatening text messages from Jones to Bray. Bray’s responses said that she was upset and scared of him, Kirby said.
The victim’s mother was one of three people to make statements to Jones before he left the courtroom.
“I will never forgive you,” she said. “After this day, you have no children by my daughter. I will hate you for the rest of my life.”
Britney Bussey, Bray’s friend of 7 years, said she asked Jones not to do this.
“You said that if you couldn’t have her, no one could,” Bussey said. “God’s got her now. I just wasn’t ready to let her go yet.”